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Day 33- Ques Ans

The proposed Geospatial Bill which seeks to regulate map creation and sharing needs to be deliberated and implemented soon in order to address the internal security woes that emanate from the nexus of cyber space and terrorism. Analyse.

In today’s digital world, maps are important for civilian and military purposes. Proposed geo spatial bill tries to regulate the geo spatial information of India used by any individual, firm, or external country. It will have wide coverage as many aspects are covered under this bill.  This bill has greater significance for

  • Address border conflicts – As many times Google or other map user firms articulate the Indian map which creates unnecessary border conflicts among neighborhood countries and create media hype.
  • Internal security- it is important to ensure the internal security especially for Border States, Naxal hit areas, important border river areas, and strategic locations within country.
  • Regulation of international firms- Company like Google, face book, and app based service providers who used Indian map and related data for self gain will have to answerable to Indian laws and rules which is very important in case of any conflict
  • Supportive role- Now use of IRNSS and other Indian based satellites are in use for civilian and military purpose so Indian accepted maps need to be available for use.

Same time this bill bring certain challenges also

  • Bureaucratic route for acceptance of map will be a cumbersome process.
  • Digital India movement may get hamper as Google, Microsoft, Facebook are in Queue to use different methods to increase net penetration. No to net neutrality, Google street scheme and now this bill may discourage them.
  • Stubborn countries like Pakistan and China hardly will acknowledge it and follow the rule.
  • Penalty is huge and honest mistake also will cost much for civil purpose to many startups who want to contribute in the sector.

It is welcoming step but same time government need to setup efficient mechanism to clear the quarry which may occur after its implementation for ease of doing business.

What is a GI tag? Can you mention few Indian products with a GI tag? How GI tags are protected from being misused? Elaborate.

Geographical Tag (GI) is an impression on any specific product from any specific area, which has special quality or marketable character which belong to that geographic location. This is needed to ensure legal protection to the product by international players as GI is accepted by all WTO members under TRIP norms.

India has used GI tag process intensively under different categories like

Food items- Tirupati Sweets, Basmati Rice, Darjeeling tea, large cardamom from Sikkim, Pokkali rice, and so on.

Handicrafts- Salem fabric, Chanderi Fabric, Kullu shawl and so on.

Manufacture items- Coimbatore grinder, Mysore sandalwood oil and soap.

GI tag has very much importance to avoid any misuse of local products as

  • Protect Indian products- Indian Basmati and many products have huge international demand which was tried to hijack by American firms few years back. GI tag is important to protect any such future move
  • Better price and branding- GI tag helps to establish the local product in national and international market as tea get produce in many areas but Darjeeling tea has special relevance and brand.
  • Recognition- to indigenous knowledge and local people culture as many handicraft products are now getting promoted after having GI tag in international market.
  • Standardization- GI tag set certain expected standards for products so quality get assured for marketing purpose and easy to export.

India has huge potential for GI tag use as Indian diversity and its cultural richness provide many unique products; we need more information dissemination on it and same time speedy action on request for GI tag.

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